wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘Fire’

S.Korea to go ahead with fire drill despite N.Korea threat

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

South Korea’s military said Saturday it would go ahead with a live-fire drill on a border island bombarded by North Korea last month, despite the North’s threat to strike back again with deadlier firepower.

A South Korean Navy vessel berths at a Movement Sea Base (MSB) off the South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on December 17, 2010.

But an AFP photographer on Yeonpyeong island said the atmosphere was calm and a media report said the one-day training exercise — scheduled for sometime between Saturday and Tuesday — may be delayed till next week.


“There is no change in our stance with regards to the live-fire exercise,” a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. “We cannot confirm… whether we will carry out the exercise today.”


The North threatened Friday to “deal the second and third unpredictable self-defensive blow” if the artillery exercise goes ahead.


“It will be deadlier than what was made on November 23 in terms of the powerfulness and sphere of the strike,” it said.


Pyongyang disputes the Yellow Sea border drawn after the 1950-53 war and claims the waters around Yeonpyeong and other frontline islands as its own maritime territory.


The November 23 bombardment killed two marines and two civilians and damaged dozens of homes. It came after a firing drill into the sea by South Korean marines based on the island.


The North’s latest warning sharply raised the stakes in the regional crisis.


Russia urged South Korea not to go ahead with the exercise and China, the North’s sole major ally, said it opposed any action that would raise tensions.


Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun summoned South Korea’s ambassador Yu Woo-Ik Friday afternoon to express concern at the planned drill, Yonhap news agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying.


South Korea, outraged at the first shelling of civilian areas since the war, has fortified Yeonpyeong with more troops and artillery and vowed to use air power against any future attack.


Its military has said artillery will be aimed away from the North as usual during the upcoming drill, but it would respond strongly if provoked.


But a military source quoted by Yonhap said the firing might be delayed a day or two.


“Weather conditions are the most important factor in deciding the time for a drill. Early next week will be the most likely time to hold it because the weather should improve,” the source said.


Asked why weather was a factor, a military spokesman cited comments by a government source in Chosun Ilbo newspaper.


“The live-fire exercise itself will end in 1-2 hours, but since we have to prepare for North Korea’s provocation afterwards, there is a good possibility the exercise will be delayed to when the weather is good all day long,” the source was quoted as saying.


“It is highly likely that the drill will be held early next week.”


The South’s close ally the United States plans to send some 20 US soldiers to play a supporting role in the drill.


State Department spokesman Philip Crowley Friday again defended the South’s right to hold the drill in the face of North Korea’s “ongoing provocations”.


But he said Washington trusts that the South “will be very cautious in terms of what it does”.


Pyongyang’s disclosure last month of an apparently working uranium enrichment plant — a potential new source of bomb-making material — has also heightened regional security fears.


The North’s website Uriminzokkiri said the drill could spark nuclear war.


“It is clear if war breaks out again in this land, a grave nuclear disaster will take place which will bear no comparison to the Korean War.”


US troubleshooter Bill Richardson said he urged North Korean officials during his current visit to Pyongyang to let the South go ahead with the drill.


“I’m urging them extreme restraint,” the New Mexico governor told CNN, saying he was “very, very strong with foreign ministry officials” during a dinner on Friday.


“I think I made a little headway,” Richardson said. “My sense from the North Koreans is that they are trying to find ways to tamp things down.”


Analyst Andrei Lankov said that for the first time in decades, a new war appeared to be a distinct probability.


Lankov, a professor at Seoul’s Kookmin University, said the Pyongyang regime seemed determined to escalate provocations, and South Korean society was in “unusually bellicose mood” after the last Yeonpyeong attack.


But in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine, Lankov said “the hard truth is that restraint is the only option for South Korea”.

Source: SGGP

N.Korea blames South over attacks, says ready to fire again

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 at 1:20 am

SEOUL, Nov 25, 2010 (AFP) – North Korea again blamed the rival South for provoking a deadly artillery attack on a border island and warned that it stood ready to strike once more.


The country, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), said it fired a barrage of shells Tuesday because South Korea’s military had failed to call off a military exercise in disputed waters.


“The DPRK that sets store by the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula is now exercising superhuman self-control, but the artillery pieces of the army of the DPRK, the defender of justice, remain ready to fire,” a government statement released late Wednesday said.


North Korea killed at least four people when it fired 80 shells on to Yeonpyeong island, which lies near the disputed Yellow Sea border.


Pyongyang does not accept the UN demarcation line running through maritime territories which was drawn after the 1950-53 Korean war.


In a statement attributed to a foreign ministry spokesman, the North reiterated its case that Seoul provoked the attack by carrying out live-fire exercises on the island that sent shells into waters claimed by the North.


“The enemy fired shells from the islet which is so close to the territory of the DPRK that it is within each other’s eyeshot,” it said.


“This powder-reeking sabre-rattling cannot be construed otherwise than a politically motivated provocation.”


North Korea said that when South Korea went ahead with the exercise after repeated requests to halt it, it was forced to retaliate.


“The army of the DPRK (North Korea) took such a self-defensive measure as making a prompt powerful strike at the artillery positions from which the enemy fired the shells as it does not make an empty talk,” it said.

d
Source: SGGP

RoK shrimper fire in Uruguay kills a Vietnamese

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

Boeing keeps 787s grounded as fire probe continues

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 at 3:25 am

Shanghai fire toll at 53 as relatives search for the missing

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 4:55 am

Fire leaves 4,500 stranded on cruise ship in Pacific

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 4:51 am

US aircraft carrying Russia fire aid land in Moscow

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

MOSCOW, Aug 14, 2010 (AFP) – Three US aircraft carrying aid including water tanks and fire-protective clothing arrived in Moscow on Saturday to help Russia battle its worst ever wildfires.


Two US Air Force C-130 planes touched down at Vnukovo airport in the early hours of the morning, followed by a charter flight from California ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, state television and the foreign ministry said.


“We will always remember this gesture, this arm that was extended towards to us at a very difficult time,” the deputy head of the international department of the Russian emergencies ministry, Valery Shuikov, said at the airport.


Two additional C-130 flights were expected in the “next days”, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. Another charter is also expected in the coming week.

Russian firefighters spray water on a blaze some 155 km south of Moscow in Shatura on August 13, 2010. AFP

“We acknowledge and assess positively the approach of the American side,” the ministry said. “Such steps fully correspond to the spirit of partner-like constructive relations between our countries,” it added.


According to the US State Department, the total value of the support from Russia’s former Cold War era foe is around 4.5 million dollars.


The delivery follows a promise by US President Barack Obama to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in a telephone call that Washington was sending firefighting equipment to help Russia.


The deliveries include water tanks, pumps, hand tools, fire-protective clothing, and medical kits. US personnel are not part of the aid.


The White House said in a statement that the United States was “responding to Russia’s request for technical assistance in combating the fires.


“The American people stand with the people of Russia in this difficult time.”


The State Department said: “We are taking action to support the heroic efforts of Russian firefighters and emergency responders as they seek to bring these fires under control.”

d
Source: SGGP

Fire near Russian nuclear centre grows

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:21 am

MOSCOW (AFP) – Wildfires raging close to Russia’s main nuclear research centre have grown in size and emergency services are working round the clock to contain the blaze, officials said on Friday.


Russia has sent thousands of firefighters to douse wildfires close to its top nuclear research centre in Sarov, a town in the Nizhny Novgorod region still closed to foreigners as in Soviet times.

A Russian firefighter sprays water on a forest fire blaze at the Losiny Ostrov nature reserve in Moscow. AFP

“The fire which appeared in the eastern part of the nature reserve two days ago after lightning struck a pine tree has grown in size and now presents a certain danger,” the head of the emergencies ministry for Mordovia, Major General Vyacheslav Kormilitsyn, said in a statement.


Meanwhile the first significant rain for weeks poured down on Moscow on Friday although forecasters said the heatwave that has left tens of thousands of hectares of land ablaze and destroyed a quarter of Russian crops would continue over the next days.


Despite signs of public frustration with the authorities, a heavy police presence ensured only a few dozen activists turned out for a protest against the Moscow mayor’s handling of the crisis, several of whom were then arrested.


A dramatic storm with rain throughout the night hit Moscow. Temperatures up to 32 degrees Celsius were expected later in the day — hotter than usual but still cooler than temperatures edging up to 40 degrees recorded earlier.


There was little sign of the smog from the wildfires that had blighted the Russian capital in the last week but new reports emerged accusing the authorities of hiding the true health toll from the heatwave.


Moscow’s top health official has already said the mortality rate had doubled in the heatwave, with hundreds more deaths every day than in usual periods. However the federal authorities have refused to confirm these figures.


The Interfax news agency quoted Moscow doctors as saying they had been forbidden to give “heatstroke” as a cause of death to keep a lid on the statistics.


“We received the order not to use the diagnosis ‘heatstroke’. We are told that the statistics for heatstroke were mounting up,” one doctor told the news agency.


“There was no official order, everything is has been communicated orally,” the source added.


News website lifenews.ru even published a picture of what it said was an informal order pinned up in a Moscow hospital saying: “Attention! Do not use the diagnosis heatstroke!”


“This is done so that the statisics, including cases of death connected with the heatwave, do not mount up,” a medical source told the website. There was no immediate official confirmation.


Several dozen activists gathered outside Moscow’s city hall Thursday evening for an unsanctioned protest against mayor Yuri Luzhkov, where they were quickly surrounded by riot police.


Around 20 people were arrested including veteran human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov and Left Front leader Sergey Udaltsov, who was prevented from joining the demonstration.


Luzhkov controversially remained on holiday as the city’s health crisis mounted, only returning on Sunday.


With the full impact of the drought and fires becoming clear, President Dmitry Medvedev said one quarter of Russia’s crops had been lost and many farms were now on the verge on bankruptcy.


Russia has banned grain exports and US government slashed its 2010-11 global supply forecasts by around 2.5 percent from last month’s estimates, on lower than expected production from the former Soviet Union.


Fires have also blazed in neighbouring Ukraine, with the emergency services working to put out a two-hectare (five-acre) peat bog fire 60 kilometres (35 miles) from Chernobyl.


But the authorities have said the situation is under control.

d
Source: SGGP

Russia steps up battle to contain fire near nuclear site

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

MOSCOW, Aug 12, 2010 (AFP) – Russia on Thursday sent a special firefighting train to join over 3,400 firefighters battling to douse wildfires close to its top nuclear research centre, officials said.


While no blazes had been registered on the territory of the nuclear research centre in Sarov in central Russia itself, a nearby nature reserve has been on fire for around a week.


Authorities on Thursday were boosting firefighting teams to more than 3,400 people to keep the fire from spreading to Sarov, a town in the Nizhny Novgorod region still closed to foreigners as in Soviet times.


The nature reserve is located in nearby region of Mordovia and tree leaves and pine needles on the surface — and not the trees themselves — now are burning and smouldering, said Mikhail Turkov, a spokesman for the emergencies ministry’s Volga regional branch.

“Two planes and two helicopters are currently circling over Sarov,” Turkov told AFP. “Reconnaissance is being constantly conducted from the air.”


More than 3,400 people and a firefighting train were involved in putting out the fires, while a second train was currently on its way to the scene. The firefighting trains contain vast amounts of water and special hoses.

Volunteers relax as they prepare for extinguishing a fire at a forest near the village of Tokhushevo ,some 50 km outside Sarov on August 11, 2010. AFP

A new fire in the area broke out late Wednesday when lightening hit a pine tree, the local emergencies ministry said.


A spokeswoman for the Sarov nuclear center confirmed to AFP there were no fires on the centre’s territory and said its staff was not being evacuated. She declined to give further details.


Two soldiers were killed by blazing trees as they strove to put out a fire close to the centre on Monday.


Russia is battling what experts say is the worst heatwave in its millenium-long history which has affected nearly all areas of life and may shave off one percent from Russia’s gross domestic product, according to some estimates.

d
Source: SGGP

China gold mine fire kills 16 workers

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

BEIJING, Aug 7, 2010 (AFP) – Sixteen workers died when a fire broke out in a gold mine in east China, state media reported Saturday, in the latest accident to hit the nation’s dangerous mining sector this week.


Most of the victims died of toxic smoke inhalation underground or in hospital after the accident, which happened on Friday in Shandong province’s Zhaoyuan city, the official Xinhua news agency said.


More than 300 miners had been working underground when the blaze started and most were lifted to ground level safely, but about 50 were left trapped, a spokesman for the rescue headquarters was quoted as saying.


Rescuers then gradually managed to pull more workers out until the last seven were rescued earlier Saturday.


Dozens of injured miners were sent to nearby hospitals, and most of these did not have life-threatening conditions, doctors were quoted as saying.


“We smelt a pungent odour and suspected something might have gone wrong. We closed the vents and waited to be rescued,” said Lu Ming, one of the miners being treated in hospital, according to Xinhua.


The work safety bureaus in Zhaoyuan and Shandong refused to comment on the accident when contacted by AFP, and calls to the city and provincial governments went unanswered.


According to an initial investigation, the blaze broke out in a shaft at the gold mine when an electric cable caught fire. The mine was fully licensed but police have taken the director in for questioning, Xinhua said.


Meanwhile, a gas outburst at a coal mine in the southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday trapped six miners underground, the report said, in yet another accident in the sector.

d
Source: SGGP